Steve Schwartz wrote:
>Janos Gereben points us to Lebrecht's latest tirade -- against Mozart,
>of all people.
>I admit I'm not Mozart's biggest fan, but -- my goodness! -- not even
>I would gobsmack him with this.
A couple of years ago, I read Jacques Barzun's somewhat dystopian book
"From Dawn to Decadence", wherein he passingly mentioned that he was
disturbed by the near-deification of Wolfgang. He opined that there are
reams and reams of mediocrity in the master's youthful output, but that
it nonetheless displaced better music by lesser men, such as his beloved
Berlioz! Mr. Lebrecht lives in England, so he perhaps isn't aware of
the number of dreadful self-described commercial classical radio stations
in the US (diminishing by one in Boston soon...WCRB-FM has been sold)
which uniformly overplay Mozart's music; these outlets perceive Mozart
as a marketable BRAND, much like Nike's "Swoosh" or Disney's mouse-ears.
There's no doubt that Mozart's music will be played to excess (Beethoven's
was in 1970; J.S. Bach's oeuvre, perceived as more austere and hence
less marketable, was not in 1985...but he DID get a Newsweek cover story),
but a discerning listener will cherry-pick the best of the offerings if
they provide an opportunity to hear works off-the-beaten-path like the
operas "La Clemenza di Tito" or "Idomeneo". The Boston Globe undoubtedly
will print a schedule of the Mozart output available to residents of New
England, probably in January, just before they go out of the arts reporting
business, so I can make out my Mozart-listening schedule.